Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeFeb 6, 2020 16:05:54

5 Male Yogis in Singapore
(Who Are Also Yoga Instructors)

Yoga is for females!

Yoga is for gay men!

Mention yoga and these thoughts spring to mind.

Interestingly, modern yoga has its beginning as songs, mantras, and rituals for the Vedic priests in India, more than 5,000 years ago. It's spread beyond India began notably in 1893, when Swami Vivekananda delivered lectures on yoga, among other topics, at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

Forward to the 1920s and 1930s, Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India by T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda and other yogis.

Essentially, it was the men who populated the practice of Hatha Yoga. It is only in recent decades that yoga has caught on among females, thanks to ingenious business people.

So with this, get to know 5 men here in Singapore who do yoga, and they're not gay!

5 Males in Singapore who Do Yoga (and they're not gay)

Nithya Priyan, owner of Nitha Priyan School of Yoga


Nithya Priyan

Haafiz Sazali aka Fizzy, freelance yoga instructor



Shao Hao, yoga instructor at Freedom Yoga

Shao Hao @shaohao.w

Benny Ong, yoga instructor at Yoga Lab

Benny Ong, Yoga Lab


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Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeJan 30, 2020 14:07:43

7 Things Your Yoga Teacher Wants You to Know

"You're a yoga teacher. So you have all the answers about yoga, right?"

There is a general idea that those who work in the fitness & body movement industries have all the answers for training, strength, flexibility, and more.

However, most of us teach from what we know. We certainly aren't the Wikipedia or Bible on fitness. But we have our personal stories for how we got into what we do. Most times it is either due to looking for a way to recover from an injury or simply to get fit.

Becoming coaches or instructors was a way to share our passion for the movement that has transformed our lives.

Along the way, many coaches and yoga instructors have discovered many things. Here are

7 Things that Your Yoga Instructor Would Like You to Know

1. Don't Waste Money on Expensive Yoga Gear

Practicing on a S$250 mat or wearing a pair of S$150 yoga tights is not going to improve your practice. 

As long as you’re not practicing on your mat to practice, nothing changes in your mind or body.

2. Teachers are Also Students

Yoga instructors are also yogis; that is how we started on our journey! This means that we continue to practice on our mat, as much as you do.

So if you bump into us at other teacher's classes in Singapore, come say hello and share your practice with us.

3. Not All of us can do the Wheel, Handstand or Headstand

Just as yoga teachers specialise in different types of yoga and we're all differently physically, our strengths also differ.

Some yoga instructors are more flexible, so backbends like the Wheel comes easily for them. Some have a strong core, which enables them to easily invert into a handstand or headstand.

Think of it this way: Your friend is skilled at numbers but numbers makes your head spin. Or you excel at organising things but your collegaue prefers execution.

Everyone has different skills and specialisations. And yoga teachers in Singapore are no different from everyone else.

4. It's Ok to Belch, Moan, Pass Wind in Class

Yes, yoga teachers have experienced this in class anywhere in Singapore. In fact, we're quite happy to hear/ smell / see our students doing so.


Belching & passing wind indicates that the digestive system is stimulated. Moaning implies that you’re getting some good feels from the poses that you're holding.

So, it’s all good!

5. We Teach What We Know

This relates back to different teachers with different styles. As yogis, each yoga teacher has an interest in working on certain poses for themselves.

And the more we practice these, the better we become at understanding how the pose benefits the body. Which means that we become better equipped to teach our understanding of these asanas to practitioners.

6. Your Yoga Journey is Yours Alone

Yoga teachers are mainly guides. We provide a map and directional signs for yoga by demonstrating the poses and breathing.

But it is up to you how you travel on the journey, and whether you continue the journey with your own self practice outside of class.

7. Techers See You

Most teachers don't say it, but regardless of where you position yourself during class, they see you.

Unable to lay still in savasana. Scolding yourself for being unable to hold chaturanga dandassana. Cursing through adho mukha svanasana.

Yes, the teacher sees everything in just one glance.

But it is okay. Because yoga instructors know that each person has their own internal dialogue, all the time.

However, all yoga teachers want to say this:-

Let go of your internal dialogue and self-judgement when you're on the mat, and just be where you are for the moment.

Release all expectations & thoughts, and just move..

8. You Make Yoga Teachers Love What They Do [bonus]

The biggest reward for any yoga teacher is when the student turns up on the mat.

They understand that work schedules or family commitments in Singapore can prevent anyone from turning up. So seeing you on the mat makes the yoga instructor love what they do.

Additionally, knowing that you have found some peace of mind in that one-hour of class is the biggest reward for the yoga teacher.


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Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeJan 10, 2020 15:52:33

5 Reasons Why You Need Yoga

Yoga Meditation | The Yoga Agency

You would think that with the proliferation of yoga classes in Singapore, people will have an understanding of what yoga is.

Here are some common phrases heard when yoga is suggested as a fitness activity:-

  • "I'm not flexible, I can't do yoga."
  • "Yoga is for for ladies! I'm a guy, so it's not for me."
  • "I don't need yoga, I already workout."

In reality, yoga is not only about flexibility — it can be a workout on its own, working on strength conditioning. Plus, you don't do yoga because you are flexible, you do yoga to become flexible.

So whether you're male or female, here are

5 Reasons Why You Need Yoga

1. Yoga Makes You Physically Stronger

Do you know that stress can cause you to fall ill? Especially when your immune system is weak.

One of the contributing factors of a strong immune system is physical health. Physical strength allows our body to handle stressful situations easily without falling sick.

The poses practiced in hatha classes build physical strength in the body's core. These are all the muscles from the neck to the toes—shoulders, back, arms, abs, obliques, gluteals, inner thighs, quads, calves. [If you think about the core of an apple, you'll get the idea of what the body's core means.]

When we have a strong core, we have a better sense of our body movement. So that we have better stability to prevent falls.

In yoga classes that focus on core strength, there will be ab-activation poses such as planks & crunches. We also incorporate the yogi push-up aka chaturanga dandasana, which is a variation of the push-up where the elbows are tucked close to the body & bent so that they point towards the toes instead of allowing them to point out sideways. The side plank and its variations work the upper arms and shoulders as well as the entire side body, including the abdominals and obliques.

Other core activating asanas include Pattita Tarasana aka Fallen Triangle, Eka Pada Vasisthasana aka One Legged Side Plank, Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Three Legged Down Dog into Eka Pada Phalakasana Three Legged Plank, Uttkatasana aka Chair, Naukanasana aka Boat (transitioning from high to low for a few rounds).

All these poses will provide a good burn to your muscles for building a strong core.

2. Yoga Complements Other Fitness Activities

It may not seem obvious but yoga complements other fitness activities. Whether you are running, doing Cross Fit, lifting weights at the gym, rock climbing, swimming, doing MMA/ Muay Thai, calisthenics etc., yoga provides a balance to the active pounding that you're subjecting your body to.

Notice that your hamstrings are tight? Or perhaps your shoulders are sore? Maybe there's a slight ache in your lower back? Or your hips seem immobile?

Yoga has many poses that work on bringing more mobility to tight areas of your body. Once these parts are stretched out, you will experience more mobility in these areas. This is the so-called flexibility that comes with yoga—simply, creating more mobility in various areas of your body.

Interesting fact: Hatha and Yin yoga are great complements to the more active forms of yoga such as vinyasa flow, Power yoga, and yoga core classes.

3. Yoga Helps You Be Clear Headed

Yoga helps you to focus the mind on one thing at a time, which enables you to think clearly. This is useful for those who work in stressful environments or need to make many important decisions in a short time.

One of the simplest ways for focusing the mind is by bringing your attention to the breath. The breathing techniques taught in yoga classes quickly helps you to focus and clear your head. This is useful when practicing a variety of balancing poses such as Vriksasana Tree, Virabhadrasana Warrior, Sirsasana Headstand, and Bakasana Crow.

4. Yoga Helps You Be Calm

Becoming calm is a consequence of a clear mind—our emotions are triggered by our thoughts: when we allow our mind to think too much, it will run away & behave like a monkey!

Focusing the mind on one thing at a time will bring about a calmness in our hearts. This is what people call bliss, and many have experienced it on the yoga mat because yoga is about a balance of the body, mind & soul.

When you are calm, you're able to do more as you're mentally and emotionally stronger to power through stressful situations.

5. Yoga Helps You Achieve Balance

While one session does help you to achieve balance, it is not a constant state—humans are creatures of habit and we tend to fall back to old ways.

Thus, constant practice of yoga poses and breathwork is necessary, especially if you’re new to yoga. Just as it is with constant and regular practice in any skill to be able to acquire mastery in it.


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Patricea Chow | The Yoga Agency SingaporeDec 29, 2019 17:16:21

What is Hatha Yoga

Yoga Namaste Hands| The Yoga Agency Singapore

The yoga that is widely practiced around the world developed from Hatha yoga.

The word 'hatha' is derived from Sanskrit and it means sun (ha) and moon (tha). The purpose of Hatha is to balance the body by uniting the breath with movement. In a Hatha yoga class, practitioners will focus on physical alignment and breath control. Over time, regular practice of Hatha yoga will result in physical endurance & strength, as well as improved physiological health and emotional well-being.

There is a common misconception that the movements practiced during class constitutes yoga.

However, there are eight limbs to the practice of Hatha yoga, as described by the sage Patanjali.

They are namely:

  • Yama or behaviour
  • Niyama or spiritual practice
  • Asana or poses
  • Pranayama or breath control
  • Pratyahara or self confrol from influences
  • Dharna or concentration
  • Dhyana or meditation
  • Samadhi or state of ultimate oneness/ connection

In Hatha yoga classes, the focus is mainly on asana and pranayama. Dharna comes into play as concentration is required to achieve many of the balancing poses. Some classes also incorporate dhyana.

Beginners to Hatha yoga will be introduced to the concept of pranayama, asana, dyarna, and dhyana. This will help them to calm their mind and feelings.


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The Yoga AgencyDec 24, 2019 11:21:24

Season's Greetings from The Yoga Agency

Season's Greetings 2019 | The Yoga Agency

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